Shen Xian Gong 神仙宫 2017 [English Version]

 

Shen Xian Gong 神仙宫 2017

Nine Emperor Gods Festival

A closer look at this Taoist festival that has been celebrated for many decades in Shen Xian Gong.


In Singapore, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a festival celebrated by the Chinese community. Every year, the festival is held from the first to the ninth day of the ninth lunar month when devotees gather at the various Nine Emperor Gods temples around Singapore to honour the Nine Emperor Gods.

With more than 90 years of history since its establishment, Shen Xian Gong (神仙宫) is one of the oldest Nine Emperor Gods Temple in Singapore. Every year, Shen Xian Gong play host to hundreds of devotees during the celebration of the Nine Emperor Gods festival. Some of these devotees have been followers of Shen Xian Gong since its early days in Strathmore Avenue area, before shifting to other areas such as Henderson, Redhill/Lengkok Bahru, Margaret Drive, back to Strathmore Avenue, and finally its present location in Jurong West Street 42. To these Shen Xian Gong devotees as well as many other devotees in Singapore, worshipping the Nine Emperor Gods bestows longevity and peace to them and their loved ones.


Shen Xian Gong holds the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in an open field next to Block 402 in Jurong West Street 42.
Shen Xian Gong holds the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in an open field next to Block 402 in Jurong West Street 42.

Preparation

The preparation works for Shen Xian Gong began as early as five days before the festival.


The setting up process involves raising the various banners of the different deities and laying out the altars.
The setting up process involves raising the various banners of the different deities and laying out the altars.
Many of the helpers are family members and friends of the owner of the temple, Mr James Quek.
Many of the helpers are family members and friends of the owner of the temple, Mr James Quek.
James’ sister, Joycelyn (left) cleaning the dust off the deity’s statue with another helper.
James’ sister, Joycelyn (left) cleaning the dust off the deity’s statue with another helper.
James’ mother, Auntie Ah Hong bundling incense paper with joss sticks together for offering purposes.
James’ mother, Auntie Ah Hong bundling incense paper with joss sticks together for offering purposes.
Other preparation works include re-painting the Dou Mu Niang Niang Sedan Chair (斗母轿)。
Other preparation works include re-painting the Dou Mu Niang Niang Sedan Chair (斗母轿)。
Most of the work are done around night time where most of the helpers knock off from work.
Most of the work are done around night time where most of the helpers knock off from work.
The temple assistant also went to James’ house to bring the statues and tablets of the different deities over to the temple.
The temple assistant also went to James’ house to bring the statues and tablets of the different deities over to the temple.
The deities were all loaded up onto a lorry and brought over to the temple.
The deities were all loaded up onto a lorry and brought over to the temple.

Nine Lamps (天灯)

The Nine Lamps serve as beacon to guide the deities to the temple.


The structure of the lamp post of decorated with straw hat, yellow ribbons and bamboo leaves.
The structure of the lamp post of decorated with straw hat, yellow ribbons and bamboo leaves.
The Nine Lamps are then raised in a high and prominent position in front of the temple.
The Nine Lamps are then raised in a high and prominent position in front of the temple.

‘An Tan’ (安坛)

After inviting the deities over, a ritual is conducted to cleanse and secure the temple.


Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai inspecting the layout of the altar during the An Tan process.
Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai inspecting the layout of the altar during the An Tan process.
Kamunyan cubes were used to cleanse the temple thoroughly during the process of An Tan.
Offerings such as buns and incense paper were placed in each corner of the temple.
A key event during the An Tua process was the trancing of Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai (中坛元帅), the Central Marshal of the Spiritual Armies.
Kamunyan cubes were used to cleanse the temple thoroughly during the process of An Tan.
Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai inspecting the layout of the altar during the An Tan process.
A key event during the An Tua process was the trancing of Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai (中坛元帅), the Central Marshal of the Spiritual Armies.

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